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Here It Is, the Extremely Bonkers Musical Number That Got Cut from 'Vice'

It's just as bizarre as you'd expect.

by River Donaghey
Mar 11 2019, 6:17pm

Photo via Vice/IMDb

Adam McKay's bonkers Dick Cheney biopic, Vice, was a wonderful mess of a film. There were moments of pure brilliance, like that mid-movie credits scene, and a whole heap of moments that just didn't work. But in a world saturated with formulaic biopics, it's refreshing to see someone try to do something new with the genre—even if it winds up being an exhilarating failed experiment in the end.

According to McKay, there was one moment that wound up being too wild for the finished film: a scene between Christian Bale's Cheney and Steve Carrell as Donald Rumsfeld that spirals into a fully fledged musical number.

"It’s breathtaking. It’s incredible. And it just didn’t work," McKay told Variety back in December.

It seemed like we'd never get to see the thing, but now, ahead of Vice's upcoming Blu-ray and DVD release on April 2, Rolling Stone premiered a clip of the scene in all its singing, dancing, and politicking glory—and, yes, it is just as bizarre as you'd expect. Brace yourself:

"We tried 15 versions of it," McKay told Variety. "We moved it here, we moved it there. We played it really short. We played it way longer and put scenes in the middle of it. We tried every single thing you could do. The only reason it doesn’t pain me at this moment is because I know we tried everything we could do."

Unfortunately, the two-and-a-half-minute scene doesn't involve Bale and Carrell going full La La Land or whatever. Instead, the DC lunchroom where they're eating erupts into song around them, led by Alabama Shakes's Brittany Howard and featuring a dance number choreographed by Andy Blankenbuehler of Hamilton.

It probably wouldn't have worked in the finished film, and McKay was right to leave it on the cutting room floor, but it's still a blast to watch. Let's hope McKay learns from his mistakes and figures out how to successfully weave a song into his upcoming Theranos biopic, Bad Blood, so we get to see Jennifer Lawrence as Elizabeth Holmes sing about inflated valuations or whatever.

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